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Everything Josh Heupel Said After Blowout Loss At Missouri

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Tennessee HC Josh Heupel. Photo by Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee football suffered its largest defeat of the Josh Heupel tenure on Saturday afternoon as Missouri dominated the Vols 36-7 in Columbia.

Following the game, Heupel discussed the Vols’ inability to stop the deficit from snowballing, their inability to get off the field on third down and much more. Here’s everything Heupel said.

More From RTI: Four Quick Takeaways On Tennessee’s Loss At Missouri

Opening Statement

“Give credit to Missouri. They played well. Man, really disappointed in the performance of our football team. Didn’t like the way we finished the ball game. We didn’t play smart enough, good enough early in the football game to win this one. And, you know, line of scrimmage, there was a stark difference. Said it early in the week that it would be a pivotal part of the football game. They were able to run the football. We weren’t. Offensively we didn’t have the efficiency that you need to go and score points. So, disappointing.”

On what Missouri was able to do to make RB Cody Schrader so productive against Tennessee

“They created seams. He was able to make us miss, ran through some things too. At times, just gap integrity. They reached us and we didn’t have anybody in the front side gap. So combination of that. You look at Brady Cook, he made a bunch of plays with his feet too. Extended a bunch of drives on third down. And the difference in performances, the line of scrimmage.”

On if he was surprised with how the game unfolded with everything Tennessee still had to play for

“Yeah. Disappointed in the performance offensively. Their structure was a little bit different than what we anticipated, personnel on the defense side. I didn’t think we responded, reacted well in the first drive. Reacted to it and adjusted a little bit in the first half. I’m just really disappointed. We weren’t able to continue drives. Offensively you look at the first half, outside of the drive in the beginning of the second (quarter), there’s huge penalties that put you in first-and-20 or second-and-20. And multiple turnovers over on that side of the 50-yard line, too. Tough to overcome. So really disappointing.”

On what Tennessee could have done more in the second half to take the game back

“Yeah. Offensively just didn’t communicate early in the first drive (in the second half). But the second drive, have an opportunity and I think we have a penalty on that drive. Turnover on the next one. And the game got away. End of the day, we gotta play smart, smart football. And you gotta play extremely physical while you’re doing that. We did not do that on the offensive side of the football tonight.”

On the frustration of Tennessee’s defense being unable to get off the field on third down

“We didn’t want to be in straight man-free against their wide receiver core. So there was some two-high shell there as well. Quarterback gets out of the pocket, sometimes we lost, contain, sometimes he’s stepping up into the pocket and we’re not able to tackle out in space. So combination of all those things change the way the game was played earlier.”

On what made Missouri RB Cody Schrader hard to defend out of the backfield

“He’s athletic, understands the game at a really high level. Understands leverage. He’s a part of their past game too, and (we) didn’t do a very good job.”

On Tennessee being penalized nine times

“Huge. Huge, huge in the way the game was played. I already said it on offense, first-and-20, personal foul on the defensive side of football. Self accountability, man, got to play smart.”

On Jackson Ross’ strong performance

“Did a nice job. Our coverage team obviously having the ability to pin them deep and put them inside the one when it’s still a ball game, two possession game right there. He did a nice job. Unit as a whole did a good job.”

On what happened on the Joe Milton III fumble

“Run, pass option. At the end of the day, both sides of it have to be in position to take care of the ball, clear the back.”

On if he had anything that led him to thinking a bad performance was coming

“No. We didn’t play well. Thought they continued to fight in the second half.  End of the game. I didn’t like because I didn’t feel like we competed the way that we needed to finish it out, but did not— thought they practiced well.”

On them blowing the play dead to review the Joe Milton III fumble

“No. Replay can buzz down. A couple times that’s actually happened this year.”

On Milton’s interception

“I believe it was two high shell. Safety brakes on the ball. Quarterback’s trusting  that that part of the zone is emptied out.”

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10 Responses

  1. We knew this at the start of the season. Milton could not get us to the playoffs. Hard to understand why a great coach like Heupel could not see it too.

  2. When you run up scores to embarass, people don’t forget.You need to give out more happy meals instead of consuming them.Gotta love Karma!

  3. Tn needs more of a mental prowess at the QB position. They obvious don’t have it, but he can blow pixie dust. Nicole is probably ready but what’s the point with just a few games left. Bowl eligible already why risk injury. Best of luck Average Joe…

  4. We all know that Milton is just average and expected the offense to sputter however didn’t expect the Defense to just lay down. Vols know this QB can beat them just failed to blitz him on a regular basis. If they would have had the same scheme as when they played SC it would have been a different game. This is in the Defensive coach.

  5. What two games left we need to play Nico from here on out. We need to see what the future holds for Tennessee.

  6. I’ve been a fan of Vol Football since 1974; I’ve seen both great times and not so great times for the Volunteers. My only constructive criticism of the Vols is this: Hide your pass routes….have receivers do more delays routes behind deeper routes. This will confuse defensive players. Do more counter trap plays to keep strong safeties and linebackers honest. On the defensive side of the ball, have the defensive line push the offensive line to the right or left, then have linebackers stunt blitz to the opposite side…to fill gaps. This is a offensive line night mare…it’s confusing to block. Hopefully, Tennessee will do better next year. Coach H., please spend some one-on-one time with Nicko (QB freshman) in the off season watching game film to show him what to look for during games. Football is a game of inches…run game promotes pass opportunities and time of possession has a better chance of winning. Go Vol Nation!

  7. An absolute embarrassment to the Tennessee program & fans, the Vols a coaching problem that’s has to be corrected, theirs a complete disconnect between coaches & players. Vols will lose to Ga for sure and possibly Vandy,,,,, what a damn shame crime last year.

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